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Thread: 1st retreat, exciting and so confused

  1. #1
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    1st retreat, exciting and so confused

    I know this should be a no brainer but I tend to want to make sure that all my ducks are in a row when traveling. I have my first retreat planned for the middle of January. I will be traveling a long distance from home with another quilting friend and want to make sure I have everything I absolutely may need. There is also limited space for all of our equipment needed for both of us. We have a huge space at the retreat for each of us to have plenty of space to spread out and work. Now the part that is confusing me. I have told DH that I would really like a carrying case for my machine and he said okay and for me to come up with a list for other items I may need and hell try to get them for Xmas. I have looked at these and found one. It is large enough to carry my machine, all the assecories, and a few other basic items. Due to the limited space in the vehicle traveling in I am looking for a way to pack up and take the rest of my items. These include fabric, cutting mat, other notions. I still have to pick out and purchase a travel iron and need some sort of ironing surface for traveling. My question, what and how do all of you use for traveling to classes retreats, etc. I have been looking for something like a tote to carry everything else. I have a pattern for a tote to carry cutting mat and notions. My concern with that is I dont think it is going to keep my cutting mat from bending or warping. So I looked at the Omnigrid ironing surface and cutting mat combo. I like but wonder if spending more money for that is worth it. Need suggestions please to get all of this stuff in a compact storage container of some kind while ensuring that it all stays safe and nothing gets broken. I know some of you are going to suggest just making a tote for it all but let me say that I suck at making totes of any kind.

  2. #2
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    What size cutting mat are you taking? I keep my cutting mats in one of these:

    http://www.artistsupplysource.com/pr...roductid=31843

    I have all of my cutting mats in this case. My flat mats and my two rotating cutting mats so it holds alot. It has two pockets. It keeps them nice and flat and protected. When I'm not using them it just slides under my couch (the one where there is no baseboard heating). I have the 18x24 size so my largest one does not go in the case but it stays on the cutting table anyway.

    I am able to fit my rulers and cutter and a few other odds and ends in the same case. Even though it looks flat it holds a good deal of stuff. It has a well padded handle as well as a shoulder strap. One of the things that I like about this is that it is supportive and protective to the mats. I also like the shoulder strap. I found mine at Tuesday Morning for $11.99 but if you don't have Tuesday Morning or they don't have them they can also be purchased online or I would try an art supply store that might be local to you.

    If you have a case like this you can feel comfortable putting it flat in the back of the vehicle and then putting things on top of it without any damage to your mat.
    Last edited by AFQSinc; 12-15-2012 at 09:39 AM.

  3. #3
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    AFQ - its an 18x24, the only one I have so that was one of my concerns, should I just buy the combo mat by Omnigrid and use that instead of risking breaking or warping my large mat. Those things cost a fortune and hate to mess it up.

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    If you get a rolling machine tote big enough you can slip an 18 x 24 mat in it on the back side. Several rulers will slid behind the mat too. I normally take three rolling totes to a retreat, my machine bag with the machine, cutting mat and rulers, a rolling milk crate with Art Bins with my projects, and a small rolling tote with every thing else. I also take one rolling suitcase with my clothes.

    So far one of the things I've never needed at a retreat is an iron. When I go with my guild one of the members with a van always stops and picks up the guilds boards and irons. You might check with the retreat organizers to see if you actually need it. I know our location restricts the number of irons we can have plugged in to prevent blown fuses.

    Some extras that I throw in my small tote are my big power strip, regular power strips and extension cords and a couple of three prong to two prong adapters.

  5. #5
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    Have fun on your retreat!

    I would be surprised if you'd need to take everything that you'll use with you. Most retreats offer (sometimes limited) cutting areas with boards and occasionally cutters, ironing surfaces and irons. If the facility doesn't offer them, do you know any of the attendees that are local that you could share with? I know that we all share as much as we can when we have people that travel a distance to attend.

  6. #6
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    I have a small Omnigrid combo mat that I use at my machine when I really need to press as I go. Does Omnigrid make a combo mat that would be large enough to cut comfortably on? The combo mat is nice because you have the two surfaces in one and it is rigid which is nice.

    As long as your mat can travel totally flat it should be ok. I worry about my rulers and stuff like that. I have had a ruler break enroute to a class. Personally, if you don't think you'll be pressing anything (or they will have a surface at the retreat) I would just bring my mat providing there is room for flat travel. I have little marks on one of my mats for special measurements so I would be lost without it but a pressing surface is less important to me.

    I'm sure that some of the seasoned retreaters will have some good suggestions for you as well.

  7. #7
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    There was a post/ link that had a carrying case for an iron that had an ironing surface on the back. The MOST important thing is your cords for your machine/bobbin/machine foot. Unless you are in the boonies, everything else can be purchased if an emergency happens.

  8. #8
    Super Member Bluelady's Avatar
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    I bought the cutting mat/iron board combo and never use it. Most places for retreats will have ironing boards and irons, and there is never room for everyone to have their own cutting board set up, so those items are shared. Check and see what others are brining or what the retreat has to offer. I find its always nice to bring the little things that can be shared for those who forget them, ie. needles, thread, seam rippers, .

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    Tartan - Yes we are going to be in boonies. The nearest LQS is about 30 minutes away.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    A friend an I are going to a retreat in March. It will be my first. I will bring whatever i use daily for quilting and it is not much, really - small cutting mat, my machine and basic sewing kit in my little fishing tool box. It can all fit in my suit case. Machine accessories fit in the machine, and fabrics fit in the suitcase. Done! If I feel inspired, I may stop by Ikea and get a portable tabletop ironing board which again fits in my suitcase. After this retreat I will figure out what useful items I left behind and what useless ones I took with me. Live and learn!
    P.S. I will also tuck in some chocolate and a bottle if vino just in case

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